Cost Sharing in Education in Developing Countries

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Developing countries with no or limited cost sharing

Overall, it is possible to distinguish a group of countries that reduce cost sharing to the minimum. In particular, one can speak about the countries of the Persian Gulf. These states have been able to generate significant revenues from oil exports. Moreover, they want to invest capital in raising the professional and educational level of citizens. This is why they strive to increase the accessibility of education. It should be noted that Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar are still regarded as developing countries even despite their rapid economic growth. The problem is that these states have not yet reached the level of development achieved by Western countries. For instance, one can mention such indicators as literacy rates. On the whole, the educational policies of these countries fit the topic pf the paper.

Saudi Arabia

At first, it is possible to speak about Saudi Arabia. The government of this state ensures that the citizens can have free access to different forms of public forms of education. In this case, one should speak about different stages from kindergarten to college (Smith & Abouammoh, 2013). Admittedly, there are private educational institutions working in this country (Marcucci & Usher, 2011, p. 54). For instance, one can speak about the branches of different American universities. In this case, students are supposed to pay for such educational services. Sometimes, the government can provide scholarships to high-achieving students who may attend foreign universities (Marcucci & Usher, 2011, p. 54). This state regards education as one of the main priorities because it is vital for promoting the long-term development of the society. Overall, this country does not have to adopt any cost-sharing because the state is not driven by the need to cut costs.


The government of Qatar also lays stress on the need to support people who cannot afford education. In particular, one should speak about Khalifa Financial Aid Program (Stasz, Eide, & Martorell, 2007, p. 74). Nevertheless, there is some restriction. The students, who receive financial aid, are required to work for a Qatari organization (Stasz et al., 2007, p. 74). However, they are provided full compensation for their work. In this case, the main goal of the government is to retain the most competent professionals. Overall, the policies of this country imply that the state should bear the financial burden of funding education. This is one of the points that should be considered.

The United Arab Emirates

Additionally, it is possible to discuss the strategies adopted by such a country as the United Arab Emirates. The government funds education of people who attend public universities. Thus, these people do not have to pay any tuition fees. This country also attracts private educational organizations and in this case learners need to pay a part of their tuition fees. Overall, the educational system of the UAE does not heavily rely on cost sharing. In this case, education can also be viewed as one of the main priorities for the state. These are the main aspects that can be identified. Overall, this approach to education has been adopted by many countries located in the Persian Gulf because the governments want to ensure their continued economic and social development of the communities.

Developing countries with cost sharing

African countries

Overall, cost-sharing is practiced in many developing countries. One can refer to the states located in sub-Saharan Africa. For instance, it is possible to mention Kenya that adopts the loan scheme. According to this scheme, learners are supposed to repay their tuition fees after graduation (Oketch, 2009). This particular region has been selected because in this way, one can show how countries can support higher education, especially when their financial resources are very limited. Cost-sharing practices are adopted in other sub-Saharan countries. For example, one can mention Nigeria. The government of Nigeria launches a program that is supposed to benefit the most disadvantaged students (Marcucci & Usher, 2011, p. 57). Nevertheless, learners are required to pay a significant part of their tuition fees. Overall, these countries struggle to promote the educational development of their citizens, but their resources are very scarce. Therefore, cost sharing can be the only option available to them.


It is also possible to mention such a country as Brazil that adopts a more complex approach to cost-sharing. In particular, the government provides financial assistance to people who cannot afford educational services (Marcucci & Usher, 2011). The administrators of universities can expect the state to compensate for the educational services. Apart from that, one should speak about low-interest loans available to learners. In addition to that, the government and universities provide more assistance to high-achieving students. In this way, they can enable people to climb their social ladder. Nevertheless, budget constraints are the main reasons for adopting cost-sharing practices. Thus, the two groups of countries represent different approaches to funding education. However, these differences can be explained by the shortage of financial resources. These are the main details that can be distinguished.

Reference List

Marcucci, P., & Usher, A. (2011). 2011 Year in Review: Global chances in Tuition Fee Policies. New York, NY: Higher Education Strategy Associates.

Oketch, M. (2009). Affording the Unaffordable: Cost Sharing in Higher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa. Peabody Journal of Education, 78(3), 88-106.

Smith, L., & Abouammoh, A. (2013). Higher Education in Saudi Arabia: Achievements, Challenges and Opportunities. New York, NY: Springer Science & Business Media.

Stasz, C., Eide, E., & Martorell, F. (2007). Post-secondary Education in Qatar: Employer Demand, Student Choice, and Options for Policy. New York, NY: Rand Corporation.

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ChalkyPapers. "Cost Sharing in Education in Developing Countries." March 26, 2022.